All posts by Undercover Blinds

7 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Retractable Awnings

Most Australian home-owners understand the value of a high-quality retractable awning. You probably know that patio and window awnings are excellent for protecting you from harsh summers and rainy Melbourne winters. You probably also realise that retractable awnings can be a beautiful addition to the design of your home, complementing both indoor and outdoor decor.

So, what else is there to know? At Undercover Blinds, our team has over 100 years combined experience in the industry and we are experts at creating custom-made retractable awnings. As such, we have a few secrets up our sleeves. So, without further ado, here are the top 7 things that you probably didn’t know about retractable awnings for windows, patios and balconies.

  1. They can reduce heat inside your home too.
    Retractable awnings prevent solar radiation from penetrating your glass windows and doors. This decreases heat inside your home by up to 70% and can even reduce your air conditioning use by half. Retractable awnings are also excellent UV blockers, getting rid of 98% of these harmful little buggers and protecting you and your family from skin cancers and nasty burns.
  2. They can make a great home office.
    Retractable awnings are (of course) wonderful for outdoor entertaining. But there are all kinds of creative uses to consider for your new-found living space. For those who work from home, relocating your home office to an outdoor setting is a great one to think about. You will be amazed by how much more productive and relaxed you feel. In fact, studies have shown clear benefits of contact with nature while working including reduced stress and fewer health complaints.
  3. They can be fully automated to suit your lifestyle.
    Most people are aware of the motorized awnings on the market that can be extended and retracted with the push of a button. But did you know that retractable awnings can also be fitted with automatic sensors? Awnings can be retracted or extended based on motion sensors, wind sensors, sun sensors or timers. They can even be connected to a c-bus system – a luxury smart-home product which allows you to control your home’s lighting, sound system, temperature and more. Simply program your ideal environment and relax!
  1. They can be used as a cooking space.
    Most Melbournites know that mentioning the word “barbeque” is a sure-fire way to bring on a torrential downpour. Provided that your retractable awning is fitted by a professional at the correct height and angle- there is no reason why you can’t BBQ in your new outdoor entertaining space. No need to worry about soggy steaks or last-minute menu changes. Your guests can simply relax and enjoy your culinary delights, whatever the weather.
  2. They will add value to your home.
    By creating additional living space, retractable awnings add instant value to your home. Premium patio awnings can add stylish entertaining and family areas and improve lifestyle selling points. Window awnings at the front of your home can increase curb appeal and also decrease energy bills – a big draw for potential buyers.
  3. They can be fitted to almost anything.
    With literally hundreds of colours and styles to choose from, retractable awnings are an incredibly versatile product. Available with all kinds of attachment brackets, patio and window awnings can be fitted to angled windows, circular windows, triangular windows or any overhead structure. They can also include variable pitch controls to adjust the angle of the awning to suit any situation.
  4. They can cover huge areas.
    Traditional retractable awnings are often designed to simply shade a window or provide a little cover over a doorway. While you can certainly still use them for this application, we bet you didn’t know how much area you can cover with modern awnings. In fact, our retractable awnings can be as big as 18 metres wide, projecting up to 5 metres from the building. The average outdoor living space is just 5X7 metres, so you can have much more space than you think!

So, there you have it. 7 things that you probably didn’t know about retractable awnings! If you are thinking about making a purchase, we invite you to take a look at the Undercover Blinds product range and contact us for a free measure and quote. We would also love to hear from you if you have discovered a creative new use for your retractable awning that we didn’t mention here. Stay tuned to our blog and Facebook page or sign-up for our e-newsletter for more inspiration, promotions, tips and trends on all our retractable awnings and shade solutions.

Specialised Systems

We are recognised leaders in the shade industry, offering specialised systems, motorised products and custom designs.
We specialise in protecting your house or business from the harsh Australian weather with our range of shade systems including:
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Folding Arm Awnings (FAA)

Our awnings add charm to any setting while providing a perfect indoor/outdoor environment for entertaining, day or night.
Our Folding arm awnings protect against the sun &/or light rain as well as creating a cosy and privacy ambience. Ideal for patios, verandahs, balconies and restaurants. The retractable roof system creates a large pavilioned space free of structures and poles.
For installations that are well protected, such as under roof eaves, our FAA’s are an ideal awning for home or retail applications. Where additional protection is required, the awning can be fitted with an extruded aluminium pelmet to your choice of colour.
With over 40 Folding arm awning brands and models in our range! There is a perfect match just waiting for you to discover.
Operation can be manual or motorised.
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Folding arm awnings

Doorway Canopies

Protect your doorway from the sun and rain by installing a fixed aluminium framed Canopy covered with a range of different fabrics and colours.

With various shapes and styles including French, wedge, convex and Dutch hoods there is always a stylish design to suit your home or business entry.

Weatherproof Alfresco Blinds

When it comes to creating a beautiful outdoor space, it doesn’t need to equal an enormous financial investment. Our alfresco and patio blinds are a fantastic way to create an attractive and weatherproof outdoor living area, without the cost of constructing an additional room or structure. Choose from our fantastic range or a personalised outdoor shading systems that will meet your functional and aesthetic needs perfectly.

Waterproof Retractable Roof Awnings

Undercover Blinds proudly supply a vast range of All Weather Retractable Roof System. The retractable roof system is a state of the art retractable roof lining that provides protection from the elements at the push of a button. It’s 100% waterproof fabric means that you can continue to entertain outdoors during the with winter months, while the optional wind and rain sensors allow for automated control even when you are not at home.
This European designed retractable roof range is made from architectural grade aluminium and stainless steel fixtures available in over 120 frame colours. The high quality construction and PVC fabrics mean you’ll enjoy a 5 year warranty and many great years of entertaining.
Add Lights to brighten up the night while entertaining in style!Roofing System Roofing System
Cleaning hacks for window blinds and awnings

EXPERT TIPS: How to Clean Window Blinds and Awnings (using items you already have!)

Window blinds are a fantastic feature that looks great, adds value, protects from the elements. Undercover Blinds has been providing quality blinds and awnings to Victorian homes and businesses since 2007 and in that time we have mastered the art of cleaning blinds and awnings.

Discover our expert tips on how to clean window blinds and awnings using products and items found in most households.

1. Hose Couture

If you have a horizontal awning such as the superb folding arm awnings available at Undercover Blinds, you are probably loving the look and coverage they offer. Much like a great coat, your awnings need regular cleaning to look their best. Create a mild solution of laundry detergent and lukewarm water, apply with a light bristle broom and hose off with a garden hose. Super easy! Just make sure you don’t use a high pressure hose as this can damage the fabric and protective coating of the awning.

2. Spot the Difference

Occasionally you will come across a stubborn stain that won’t simply wash away and wonder how to best clean stained blinds and awnings. A bird may have dropped a “special package” or perhaps your football skills landed a muddy ball on your awning. Spray some carpet cleaner onto a clean rag and rub onto the stain. Test the solution on an inconspicuous patch before proceeding and do not spray directly onto fabric.

3.Terrifically Transparent

Clear PVC Blinds are designed to maximise views and an atmosphere of open space within a weather-proof alfresco area. Both objectives are severely compromised if your blinds are covered in stains and fingerprints. A regular microfiber cloth attracts dust particles and is perfect when combined with a specialised cleaning solution (available from our showroom) to wipe down both sides of the fabric. Give your PVC blinds some TLC with a treatment spray that is then massaged into the clean blind to repel UV rays and condition the PVC so it stays soft, ply-able and free of discoloration.

4.Blind Blow-dry

Many internal blind models such as our quality fabric roller blinds can withstand a gentle dusting and vacuuming with a proper upholstery attachment. For visible stains, make a solution of warm water and laundry detergent and use a sponge or toothbrush to clean the spot. Remember to test it on an inconspicuous spot to make sure that it doesn’t cause the color to run.

5. Clear the Air

Does it feel like your indoor blinds are constantly collecting dust? Surprisingly, your culprit may be your couch.  The fabric in any room is a landing spot for dust and every time we sit down on it, the dust is launched into the air and often gravitates towards your blinds. Vacuum your furniture with an upholstery attachment and you will prolong the time between blind cleanings.

It only takes a few minutes of regular care to maintain the attractiveness of your blinds and awnings, not to mention the cleanliness.

Undercover Blinds is available to offer advice and product solutions to help you get the best results, contact us or visit our showroom for more information.

Retractable Roof Systems for Flexible Entertaining

Retractable roof systems turn any pergola or outdoor living area into an opportunity to entertain. Ideal for both residential and commercial use, our collection of retractable roofs and blinds allows you to host visitors and customers all year round. We’ve listed our most popular retractable pergola and blind systems below, along with some of the many reasons you will love this addition to your outdoor area.

Helioshade – Waterproof Retractable -Roof Awning

Helioshade retractable roof systems

The Helioshade All Seasons retractable roof system is a state-of-the-art retractable roof lining that provides protection from the elements at the push of a button. Its 100% waterproof fabric means that you can continue to entertain outdoors during the winter months, while the optional wind and rain sensors allow for automated control even when you are not at home.

This European designed retractable roof range is made from architectural grade aluminium and stainless steel fixtures available in over 120 frame colors. The high quality construction and PVC fabrics mean you’ll enjoy a 5 year warranty and many years of great entertaining.

Want to take your outdoor entertaining area to the next level? The Helioshade retractable roof system can also incorporate dimmable 360 degree LED Lighting which is installed along the cross bars and retracts with the roof.

Pacchetto – Belt Driven Pleated Retractable Patio System

Paccheto retractable roof systems

The Pacchetto is the full package of retractable roofing. This pleated shading system is ideal to use above outdoor hospitality venues, swimming pools or your average backyard patio. This unique design is essentially made up of individual sheets of fabric that are easily and independently replaced in the unlikely event of damage.

This retractable awning is ideal for all weather conditions and is motorised for simple control with the click of a button. One of the major benefits of the Pacchetto retractable roofing system is that it is packed with practical features such as a customisable water draining system and the flexibility of being free-standing or attached to your existing structure.

This retractable roof system is manufactured in extruded aluminium and is powder coated to suit your outdoor needs, as well as being available in a wide range of fabric options including Acrylic Canvas, PVC and Mesh.

Sintesi Retractable Roof System

The Italian designed Sintesi retractable awning is an elegant and practical solution designed to meet both commercial and residential outdoor area needs. These quality roofing sheets provide protection from the elements year round, while also offering the flexibility of motorised retraction at the touch of a button.

Rain, hail or shine, the Sintesi retractable pergola is a stylish and highly functional retractable roofing system that will deliver the benefits of a permanent pergola, yet allow you to maximise your space and minimise the costs of creating an outdoor living area.  With the quintessentially European attention to aesthetics, Sintesi has solved the rainfall problem and integrated a rain gutter and downpipe system fitted discreetly into an elegant mounting frame to channel water away.

The Sintesi pergola is manufactured in aluminium and finished in a choice of powder coating to blend with your surroundings or provide a touch of color for an eye-catching feature. All our awnings are custom made to suit your application, available in PVC, Acrylic Canvas and Mesh.

Undercover Blinds offer an extensive range of retractable roofing and awning systems that are guaranteed to meet your outdoor entertaining needs.

Phone us today on 03 9775 1726 to arrange a site consultation.

Folding arm awnings

Folding Arm Awnings- Your Entertaining Plans Covered.

We all know Melbourne is famous for its unpredictable weather. From harsh sunshine to sudden rainfall, it’s not unusual to go through four seasons in a single day.

Installing Folding Arm Awnings can provide the ultimate protection you need from the Australian sun. Being fully retractable, these are highly sought after solutions for any shading concerns and offers the following benefits.

Handle the Heat- Folding Arm Awnings for UV Protection

Folding Arm Awnings will protect from the sun when needed and neatly fold away if no longer required. Building permanent outdoor structures is costly and space-consuming, hence retractable awnings are a superior solution that offers more flexibility and maximises your space. Whether you are covering a single window or an entire deck, folding arm awnings are custom made and can be built in sizes up to 18 meters wide and 5 meters in projection.

Let it Rain- Outdoor Retractable Awnings

Outdoor Awnings are made of extremely durable materials that are designed to withstand some light summer rain, so your entertaining can continue uninterrupted. Window Awnings are also handy as they protect your rooms from sun damage while allowing you to let some fresh air into your home. Both have a variable pitch control options so you can alter the angle (height) of your moisture resistant awning at any time to suit your requirements and keep out the raindrops.

European Engineered- World Class Window Awnings in Australia

Undercover Blinds offers a wide range of manufacturers and solutions for all of your requests and needs. As part our extensive program, we are proud to be official distributors of Turnils and Aluxor Retractable Awnings. Turnils have combined European quality and Swedish design for state of the art engineering of Folding Arm Awnings. Their innovative features include the lightweight, yet durable Dyneema® tape which is used on awning joints for superior strength and resistance to moisture and UV.

Aluxor is another European product that is receiving rave reviews in Australia. These modern awnings are designed in Germany and perfected in every aspect from the performance of hardware elements to fabrics with self-cleaning properties. It’s safe to say that Aluxor and Turnils are the Mercedes Benz of the Folding Arm Awning segment.

Electronic Window Awnings- Covered with the Click of a Button

These Retractable Awnings can be motorised or manually operated. They can also be installed with motion sensors, wind sensors, sun sensors, timers or connection to c-bus to make your system fully automated. For an added “Wow factor”, manufacturers such as Aluxor and Turnils also create awnings with incorporated LED lighting. The transition from open-roof to undercover is as easy as skipping a song on your music player.

Retractable awnings are the modern solution for simple, tidy and reliable shelter all year long. The best part? You can make them emerge or disappear whenever you please (unlike some of the guests that you’ll be hosting).

Discover Folding Arm Awnings and enjoy your outdoor entertaining area- light rain, or sun shine!

Why Window Awnings are Essential for an Aussie Summer

Why Window Awnings are Essential for an Aussie Summer

It has often been said that “windows are the eyes of a house” and we all know how a dazzling pair of eyes can leave a fantastic first impression and become something to fall in love with. Window awnings are a stylish addition that provide the functional benefits of blinds and outdoor structures, with an aesthetically superior appearance and ideal potential for customisation.

Just as you would select a pair of fabulous sunglasses to compliment your personal style, installing awnings above your windows provides a chic feature to the look of your home, as well as all-important benefits such as protection against UV rays. The Australian summer brings many hours of harsh sunlight and window awnings are the perfect solution to protect your home, carefully selected flooring and furniture from harmful rays and spontaneous summer showers.

Unlike lower quality external blinds and outdoor roller blinds offered by less reputable manufacturers, our External Blind & awning range is constructed with high quality materials made to last. For example, some units use aluminum components to prevent rusting and unsightly stains that can damage your valued home. This is exceptionally important in areas such as Melbourne and Bayside areas, where the weather brings everything from heat waves to sporadic rainfall. Rain, hail or shine, your external window awnings must be durable enough to withstand it all and maintain a striking look.

Unpredictable weather and frequently changing schedules also create a need for flexibility. You don’t always need to wear your fantastic pair of designer frames and in the same way, awnings don’t need to be permanently set up.

The advantage of retractable awning designs such as our folding arm awnings is that they can provide protection when required and be neatly folded away when you don’t need them. Some days you may feel like sitting in a sunbathed living area, while others call for a sanctuary from the Australia sun, our awnings allow for both.

For home owners who appreciate a true fusion of convenience and style, there is also the option of motorizing awnings and even installing sensors and timers to make a fully automated system for folding arm awnings covering larger areas.

Undercover Blinds & Awnings creates fully customized window awnings, so that you can find a set of amazing awnings that will look great and serve your needs throughout the summer and all year long.